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ANN CONWAY

R S V P / ORANGE COUNTY : A Holiday Centerpiece : Candlelight Concert Backers Look Forward to Season's Highlight

November 17, 1994|ANN CONWAY

Underwriters and patrons of the Candlelight Concert were feted at the expanded Louis Vuitton boutique at South Coast Plaza last week.

On view for the Orange County Performing Arts Center crowd: everything from colorful Epi leather wallets and handbags to those famous Vuitton trunks that can cost $30,000 apiece.

(Sure, the trunks weigh a ton. But when you can afford Vuitton, you can afford to pay someone to carry it.)

When guests weren't caressing the leather, they were sipping Moet Chandon bubbly and buzzing about the Dec. 11 concert, sponsored by the center's board of directors.

"It will be traditional, like last year," said Candlelight chairwoman Catherine Thyen. "But it will have something new--an English theme."

The menu isn't set yet, but "plum pudding--at least an approximation," is guaranteed, Thyen said.

Guests at the $250-per-person black-tie affair will be treated to holiday music in the English tradition by the Pacific Symphony and the Pacific Chorale (including its children's choir). The ballroom at the Hyatt Regency in Irvine will be lined with pine trees, and centerpieces will be topiaries studded with holiday fruits.

The event invitations promise to be one of the seasons's prettiest: white moire paper lined with gold.

Thyen expects the event to raise $100,000.

What will she wear? "Red--but I haven't bought it yet," she said. "No black for this one!"

While the Candlelight Concert promises to be the centerpiece of the holiday social season, other nonprofit groups have meaningful offerings:

* On Dec. 4, St. Joseph Hospital in Orange will hold its 11th annual "Light Up a Life" tree-lighting ceremony, a fund-raiser for the hospital's hospice program.

To honor the memory of a loved one or friend, you can buy a tree light ($25), a star light ($150) or a star light and ornament ($250). A donation of $1,000 makes you a friend of hospice for life. All proceeds will go to the patient care of the terminally ill. Call (714) 771-8211.

* For $1,795, you can take a London fling with friends of South Coast Repertory. Tour-goers will leave Los Angeles on Dec. 27 and return Jan. 3. The price includes air fare, seven days and six nights at the St. James Court Hotel and orchestra seats to four shows, including "Sunset Boulevard" or "Miss Saigon" and a West End production. Excursions include Stratford-on-Avon and Windsor Castle and a New Year's Eve celebration in Trafalgar Square. For information, call SCR at (714) 957-2602, ext. 404.

* On Dec. 4 at the Four Seasons Hotel an array of decorated holiday trees and wreaths will be on display at a luncheon benefiting the Huntington Youth Shelter. "Christmas Tree Magic," has also benefited Olive Crest Abused Children's Foundation, the Ronald McDonald House, the Assessment and Treatment Services Center and Children's Hospital of Orange County. Tickets are $55 per person. Call (714) 673-9364.

* Favorite food courses of First Ladies will be the offerings at the Nov. 29 luncheon cooked at the Richard M. Nixon Library & Birthplace. Up for tasting at the $50-per-person event: the artichoke soup with almond bow ties relished by Pat Nixon; the rolled veal tenderloin with sweet peppers preferred by Betty Ford and the poached pear dessert with brandy sauce that Nancy Reagan loved.

Also at the library: Hans F. Raffert--chef to Presidents Reagan and Bush--will lecture Dec. 12, and lecture and lunch with guests Dec. 13. During the festivities, Raffert will present his huge gingerbread house, a White House tradition since 1969. For information, call (714) 993-5075.

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